Kobe recently became the Lakers all-time scoring leader and I was wondering about who the greatest Laker of all time is. I guess there are many ways to look at this. Some players were more beloved by fans than others. Kobe may end up with more rings and better stats than any of them but I think his relationship with the fans makes for an intersesting list. With apologies to Mikan, McAdoo, C. Hawkins, Worthy, and the very underrated defensive stopper Michael Cooper, here is a list in no particular order:
Jerry West: The franchises' first ever draft pick would go on to lead the team to 1 championship as a player and 7 more as an executive. A 14 time all-star and 11 time all-nba player, he orchestrated the trade of Kobe for Vlade and signed Phil Jackson and Shaq. Also is the logoman of the NBA
Magic Johnson- Helped bring the NBA to the forefront with the 'Showtime Lakers' and the epic rivalry with Bird. A triple double machine who won 5 championships, was voted MVP 3 times, and was an 11 time all-star. Currently the all time Laker leader in assists and steals. His relationship with fans and media make him the face of the franchise in my opinion.
Elgin Baylor: #1 pick in 1958 would go on to win the ROY award. His 38.3 avg in '61 is the second highest for a season behind Wilt. He played 13 seasons with the Lakers and was voted to the all-star game 11 times. Currently the Lakers all time leader in rebounds. A championship is the only thing missing from his resume.
Shaq- Signed with the Lakers in '96 and spent 7 seasons with them. Was voted to the all-star game every season while winning 1 MVP award and collecting 3 championships.
Kareem- Came to the Lakers after winning 3 MVP awards and 1 championship with the Bucks. Spent 14 seasons with the Lakers winning 3 more MVP awards, voted to 13 all-star games, and winning 5 championships. All time Laker leader in career blocks and the NBA leader in career points.
Kobe- The 12 time all-star and 1 time MVP has won 4 rings and counting for the Lakers. The all time team leader in career points once scored 81 in a game. Also a 7 time all defense selection. Youngest to 25000 career points.
Wilt Chamberlain- Played 6 seasons with the Lakers winning 1 championship while appearing in 4 all-star games. Was captain of the '71 '72 team that won 69 games and faced the Jabbar led Bucks in the finals. Wilt completely outplayed the younger Jabbar, particularly in game 6 when he played all 48 minutes. The Lakers won the series 4-2.
So you is the best all time. Personally, I say that it will alwways be Magic's team, but the list of Laker greats is impressive.
I say Magic but Baylor and West can make great cases for best Laker. Never saw West or Baylor play however.
Isn't this on SI.com or ESPN.com?? I read something like it before.
I think when people say Lakers...Magic Johnson will always be first in their mind. Kobe would have to have the Lakers win two more titles to have it as HIS FRANCHISE.
The order is Magic, Kobe/West (Tie imo Still, but not for long), Kareem, Shaq, Wilt, and Elgin...
That's alot of BIGs.
Good list...a question though
I was born in 1982, and read a lot about Wilt, Baylor, West, and a lot of the greats in the 60's, 70's and early 80's before I watched basketball, but I really wonder how someone who is old enough to have seen 40 or 50 years of basketball would rank a player like George Mikan. I've read a little about him, and know his impact at the time, but he is an NBA great and the first dominant center, but I really know very little about him.
Does anyone know much about Mikan and his consideration on this list?
Don't know much about him which is why I left him off the list. From what I know he was the first treu big man and changed the game in that aspect. He also won 5 rings during the 50's.
If I had to pick one player one out of all them I am picking Kareem. People don't realize how much the game was easier for Magic because he played with Kareem. I am not saying that Magic still wouldn't have been a great player but Kareem made things alot easy.
Kobe bryant...I understand magic got more titles..5 vs 4..I cannot put west the bc it is all about championship West 1..Magic got all his titles with kareem...I understand Kobe got 3 with shaq..Kobe has another 5 yrs of being very good and at the rate he is going he will finish his career in the top 5 all time in scoring..He will win at least 1 more chip giving him 5 same a magic and I believe 1 more mvp...When Kobe is all said n done he will be in the argument for top 5 all time..Peroid..I see his career finishing with 33,000+ point.. 5 chips and 2 Mvps..Will he be the greatest laker now? I think so..But this is the Kicker, of all the lakers in consideration Kobe is the only one still playing so he has time to make this a no brainer..
For me, its between Magic and Kobe. When you say Lakers, they are the first 2 that come to mind to me. Magic was the ultimate team player. He ran the lakers so efficiently and did things back then that still amaze people. His size at the PG position was baffling and was a master with the rock in his hands.
My case for Kobe is pretty simple. Next to Jordan, IDK if there is anyone else who played this game that I would rather have the ball in their hands taking the final shot. The shots he and Jordan have made in their careers are remarkable.